Family Set Apart and Thriving
Do you have a day or time set apart for family and for yourself? Do you fill days off with errands, housework, or less meaningful activities that eats your time? Is there a day different from the other 6 days of toil and giving?
I know I am guilty of doing chores and selfish escapes in a binge of Gilmore Girls or This Is Us. I believe we should allow 1 day out of the week to connect with our families and focus on relationships and rest, especially in this age of technology and constant demands. We miss the blessings when we choose the less meaningful activities that do not produce growth and enrichment. We experience the consequences. instead.
I observe the consequences in my counseling practice daily, as I work with families that are lacking connection and unity, marriages falling apart, teens feeling misunderstood and lonely. Individuals are increasingly becoming more selfish, isolated and independent in the family and less focused on the consideration and needs of others. The family is where the teaching and training happens, for launching well adjusted adults, with values into society to make a positive impact in the world and cultivate relationships. Along with relational, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health are being sacrificed, also. People have lost the ability to just be and allow mind wandering or to daydream in their alone time. We have lost focus and good intentions in having conversations with family members and take interest in each person.
We need to refocus on the family. We need to be intentional and plan quality time together. We need to seek to thrive in our families, not just survive through life’s journey.
Some practical ideas to focus on the family weekly are:
- Grow in Faith – Participate in worship service or church together and discuss beliefs and how this impacts life choices and individual identity.
- Cooking together – Have everyone participate in the meal preparation and clean-up. Allow the kids to choose their favorite meal.
- Taking a bike ride – You may be a family that enjoys the outdoors, so get outside and do some physical activity. This fights depression and is counter-productive to the teen that likes to stay in their room and be disconnected.
- Working in the yard – Some people enjoy and get recharged working in the yard. This is good activity for giving your children a sense of family and belonging that they crave. Our kids base their expectations of their peers on how they experience this at home.
- Playing a game – I am not a big game person, but this is a great activity for building confidence and working together, depends on the type of game. It is also great for the mind.
- Family Discussion about important topics – Taking turns choosing an important topic or drawing gets everyone involved and makes it fun.
- Volunteer – serve a need in the community.
For more information on improving family connection, check out this article from one of my favorite resources.
I believe if we committed to and established 1 day for focusing on the family, there would be less depression, disconnection, stress, and broken relationships. The blessings and outcome would be healthier families and individuals that know love and acceptance, sense of belonging and purpose. Health and happiness would improve. I challenge you to choose to be a person and family set apart to thrive.